For centuries, black cabs have complied with regulations, which are now set by TfL. Those regulations have produced the safest, most experienced, most honourable cab service in the world.
Uber cabs operate at way below that standard. They are wild, lawless, inexperienced and also unhygienic, (peeing in private gardens?) but Uber’s UK manager, Jo Bertram, is unconcerned about the vast room for improvement. Her attutude is, sure Uber standards are bad, so let’s drag black cabs down to the same grotsville level. That way we’ll have a level playing field, we’ll all suck.
She is bitterly critical of the tougher regs. that TfL want to impose on Uber, particularly the new 5 minute waiting time, claiming that the wait will cost drivers money. Costing money is the only argument that cuts any ice with Uber. Jo may give lip service to the concept of public safety, but they treat their drivers like rubbish, and every indication is the public don’t rank any higher in their estimation.
The proposal document statement that the five minute wait is to ‘reduce the risk of a customer getting into the wrong car and/or into an unlicensed vehicle’, and to prevent passenger pick-up from an unsafe location is therefore falling on deaf ears.
On LBC today, Boris Johnson came right out and said that the government “was besotted with”Californian tech Titans who don’t pay tax”. For that reason, they would not agree to limiting PHVs however bad pollution and congestion gets. This insane decision is just one in a series of insane decisions made by the government recently, with Boris the only voice of reason.
Jo Bertram needs to accept it is TfL in the driving seat, not Uber. It is not for her to dictate what the standards of our cab service should be. London doesn’t want a lower standard, less regulated cab service. We are proud of the brilliant reliability, honour and integrity of our black cab drivers.
You want a TfL licence? Follow TfL regs. Jo. This is TfL’s ball game and they are calling the shots. You don’t like it, you can leave.